Artists’ Books and Postage Stamps
By Christene Drewe | 24 February 2015
The postage stamps were duplicates from Helen’s husband’s collection which surfaced during the packing up of their family home in Brisbane in preparation for relocation to the Sunshine Coast.
Helen distributed the stamps to ‘SWAG’ now known as ‘SWAGIES’ or The Second Wednesday Art Group with a request for the stamps to be used to create artist’s books.
Artists’ books are art works that use the form or concept of a book and in works displayed by the group at SLQ, stamps informed their work in a variety of ways. Some grouped stamps by theme to make their artwork. For example birds in books by Helen Sanderson and Tricia Smout, flowers in Gabi Dick’s book and Charles & Diana in Karin Hannigan’s book.
Tiny stamps invoke tiny books as seen in Trish Bradford’s ‘Munich Olympics’, and ‘Collection of Reef Stamps’, Robyn O’Brien’s ‘tiny stamp book’ and Gabi Dick’s ‘Flower book’. Margaret Olsen took the challenge literally and created ‘An Almost Complete History of Australian Postage Stamps' in which each page was dedicated to a theme of Australian stamps - some with ‘pop-ups’ and another reflecting on the Australian icon, Sid Nolan’s Ned Kelly.
It was a morning full of surprises, seeing the work of artists whose artist’s books are already held in the Australian Library of Art and the work of others whose artist’s books we may acquire in the future. Yes I do have the best job in the library working with the Australian Library of Art’s artists’ book collection!
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